Wednesday, December 03, 2008



Well, I guess one is never too old to learn something new... or own the truth of something that isn't so much new as ignored.

Like many people who live alone and who don't go out much, I have developed a habit of keeping very distorted hours. For years I've planned to change this behavior but never done it. My habit has been to stay up until 2 or 3 am and get up between 9 and 10 in the morning. That's 6-7 hours of sleep. It's not terrible behavior. Probably more than many people get even if the hours are a bit skewed. BUT.... I've read research about new studies on the importance of sleep. I've advised others to get more sleep. But do I listen myself? Nope.

Well, whether by coincidence or as a consequence of Dennis Puffet's work on my house, I've been getting myself to bed by 1:30 at the latest for the past 10 days. And oh the difference an hour and a half to 2 hours of sleep makes. I feel more grounded and better physically with each passing day.
I need to watch myself tonight because I'm procrastinating changing the litter box and putting out the garbage, so if I'm not careful, I'll throw a crimp in my new routine because changing the litter and putting the garbage out is just one of those simple things that I turn into an ordeal in my head. Right now for some reason I'm stirring up big anxiety because the Angel gate finally took one kick too many from all the people who have tolerated having to climb over it. So in my head at the moment, I have created fear of a tragic escape as I'm getting the mail or putting the garbage out. Angel has shown no sign of realizing that the gate is gone, but the Basic Worry System has gone into overdrive. So it goes forever on and on in my head.

But back to the subject at hand. I'm hoping to continue my new schedule and maybe even improve on it. We will see. For the moment I'm both pleased and amazed at the difference in how I feel. Cats are smart about sleep. They seem able to sleep anywhere and in any position.

Here are some good sources of information on Sleep Deprivation.

This first one is from ... then there's Sleep Who know there was an international sleep society? Their site was kind of sleep-inducing so I'm not including it. This last article is from a site called Serendip.

Anyway, passionate lectures about sleep are to be feared if I keep this new behavior up and continue to feel more coherent and alert. But I'd better post this, change the litter box and practice what I'm preaching.


Totally unrelated to sleep. Shannon took these pictures of Angel enduring the punishment I mete out when she has been exceptionally naughty. It's called the hug-a-thon. See the tortured look on her face? That'll teach her to mess with electric wires! Lest you think me especially unkind, this was not a one sniff offense. Angel in a certain mood is relentless and the more I say no, the more she does something. In this case it was playing with the cord for the Christmas tree. After about 17 warnings and two pick-ups, the hug-a-thon was required. It was a LONG hug. I'm so mean. She's so cute even when she is being a horrible brat.


quilly said...

I want to read your short story but I haven't time! My eye is still acting up. You may try your Reiki if you like, but I must tell you that I don't believe in it and may not give you credit even should it work because you'll never convince me that's what did it.

Now, if you could get it to work on OC so he COULD sleep more than 3-4 hours a night, I might be persuaded to believe!

Carletta said...

It's almost two in the morning as I type this and I know I should be in bed. I'm like you were. I stay up late, go to bed late, and get up late. I always thought retirement would be that way. Do what I want, sleep when I want, etc.
It really does take a toll and me and Hubs said yesterday we needed to change it some. I'm hoping to after Christmas. Days are in prep for that and nights for what else -blogging. I'll be watching to see if you stay on track.
I also need to check your blog in the morning now not at midnight. :)
That last photo is precious - so sweet.

Carletta said...

I just noticed you posted this Wed. night - I'll just have to check a couple times of day. :)

Dianne said...

well here I am responding at 3AM!!

I have a client on the other side of the pond so I had to do a conference call

love the photos! her eyes in the last one are priceless

Deborah Godin said...

Such a sweet face! And isn't it great to have discovered the hug-a-thon method?! I use it all the time on Pearl, who is very vocal and I-need-to-be-in-your-lap-this-instant! Just a few hugs and smooches and she's squirming away and racing off down the hall.

Quiet Paths said...

This was really interesting for me. I have this little battle going with our older college son who keeps awful hours at school. I'm so afraid he's going to mess himself up. (He studies hard and does not party.) But, he's 20 so i imagine his body will bounce back; still, it worries me. I'm glad you found a way to tweak your sleep and feel better in the morning. It was smart to start with small changes.

storyteller said...

Sleep habits are interesting. Like you, I get about 6 hours sleep (give or take) most nights ... but I've always been an early riser no matter what time I go to bed. Since I'm awake most mornings by 3:30 to 4am, I tend to go upstairs around 8:30 or 9pm ... am usually asleep by 9:30 or 10pm.

As always ... I love Shannon's photos!
Hugs and blessings,

gel said...

Well we bloggers share this affliction. I even wrote about it in a different way on my current "sunrise" post. I am overtired right now or I would be {usually) be asleep. It's 3:30 a.m.

I've always felt better going to sleep about 1 a.m. and arising between 9 and 10. Lately, though, I've indulged in the quiet of the nighttime to paint or write undisturbed, so it creeps to 2 or 3 a.m. I also feel much better when I'm asleep closer to 12:30 or 1 a.m.. It's my biorhythym.

Regular sleep habits are important. I talked at length with my dr b/c of sleep deprivation from other medical issues that have nothing to do with the allure of blogging or painting!

Adorable cat! Love those eyes.

Sue said...

I always do so much better overall if I go to sleep before midnight (say 11:30 PM) and get up by 7:00 or 7:30 AM, but for some reason the creative part of my brain always shifts into high gear after 9 PM. So its a trade off.

I understand your anxiety about the lack of Angel gate. I have nine indoor cats, all of which were once outdoor strays that got taken in, but only one of which actively plots escape. James watches the door every time it opens for the dog, ready to make an escape, and I have great anxiety about him escaping. The last time he did was last winter, when it was cold and rainy and Rosie dog chased him under the house. I sat outside in the rain for 45 minutes with food trying to get him to come out from under and come back inside.

Travis said...

Your kitty is very cute!

I'm with you on the escaped kitty fears too. Mr Tucker never shows any interest in going outside. And then I go and leave the window open just a shade too far, he sees another kitty, and crashes through the screen!

Although, once he gets outside he gets so anxious that he hunkers down and waits for me to come and get him.

Winifred said...

Love those photos.

There must be a lot of us around who have these erratic sleep patterns. I always seem to come to life at night and don't like going to bed until I feel tired. Just lie awake if I do. I've never been an early rise like my husband. Mind you, he sleeps for hours on the settee before we go to bed.